Lois Kitsch

Lois Kitsch

National Program Director


National Credit Union Foundation

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I found a career that I love - for me that was working with credit unions.
Then I volunteered for international assignments - sometimes paying my own way.
Learned everything I could - did every job.
Then I asked for the job when the time arose - over and over again until I got their attention.
Then I built networks of people that could help me and who saw potential in me.
Then I traveled around the globe doing training - up to 58 countries now and still counting.
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Devils Lake High School
Career

Career

National Program Director

I inspire credit union professionals to live their values to better serve members and communities.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Travel
Travel
Teaching / Mentoring
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

My days are varied - some days are all about facilitating others' learning opportunities and helping young and old realize their full potential as credit union professionals. Other days are about building curriculum for training programs and inspiring others to pick up the mantle of change.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

To do what I do, you need to be flexible as I facilitate sessions globally, you need to be empathetic and have a thick skin as others won't always agree with your style. You have to display boundless energy as a good trainer carries the emotions and energy of an entire room. You must be able to look at issues from every side - listen and communicate with appropriate responses to questions and observations - this takes constant focus. In the end it is worth it as you are making change happen.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

The most important thing a high school student should do is capitalize on their school years. If you can take accelerated classes and then college courses it is worth it. Every credit you earn that you don't have to pay for is money in your (or your parents) pockets. I know high school should be fun but it is four short years versus the rest of your life. Never spend student loan funds on anything except tuition and books. You have to pay those loans back - get it?

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

certification
Associate's Degree
I did not have the opportunity to go to college and have done well despite this. It is harder now. The education more important. BUT, the education should make sense and match you life goals. Otherwise you can be saddled with debt without increasing y
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"You don't have an education - that means you can't do it. You need to stay home in this little community you grew up in - the world is too big and dangerous."

I encourage my friends to travel - go somewhere and then keep an open mind. So many people travel to foreign lands to experience new cultures and then whine and complain when they don't see a McDonald's on the corner. Just do it - borrow responsibly to do it if you need to. Save for it. Plan for it. But open your life to experiences and stop worrying about the accumulation of stuff. Be a part of every day - pay attention and don't let life just float by.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

To manage your finances, get serious about your priorities. Make a plan and then follow it. I did not start to save until I was 45 but will be ready for retirement when the time comes because I planned. You can do it too.

Learning Issues
Learning Issues

I don't learn like others. Learning by reading is not what I do well. I learn by experience. I still struggle sometimes as my learning style does not fit within the academic world. Likely why I did not go to college.